5 things you always want to know about the Thrift Shop (but didn’t ask)

FIVE THINGS YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE THRIFT SHOP (BUT DIDN’T WANT TO ASK BECAUSE YOU’RE SURE EVERYONE KNOWS THE ANSWER BUT YOU)

1. Where does your merchandise come from?

It comes from donations! Everything we sell has been donated to us – we don’t purchase any items for resale.  We accept donations at our back door (around the rear of the building) any time that the shop is open (on Fridays we take donations until 3 pm).

2. Why are the price tags different colors?

It’s an inventory management system that allows us to know how long an item has been in the store.  You don’t want to see the same things on the shelves month after month – and neither do we! Every month we change to a different colored tag, and after a certain period of time, we pull all the remaining items in that color.  The only exception is white tags, which are used for holiday merchandise and some of our specialty items such as antiques.  Besides – it’s more interesting to have different colors!

3.  What’s upstairs?

The second floor contains our Community Outreach Center, where we meet with clients of our different philanthropies such as Operation School Bell.  We also have an office, a small conference room, and our new mezzanine, where we store donations.

4.  What do you do with donations you can’t use?

We pass these items on to other non-profit groups.  Most of the donations that aren’t in good enough shape for our shop are given to the Salvation Army.  We also give things to several non-profits that aid veterans or the homeless, the Irvine Animal Care Center, and the Irvine Valley College Drama Department (they’re thrilled to get “vintage” clothing to use for costumes!).

5.  If I want to volunteer at the thrift shop, what do I do?

Tell one of our members at the shop (with the blue aprons!) that you’re interested.  We have several levels of volunteer support, from full ALI members to “community volunteers” who want to see if this experience is right for them.  We’ll ask you to fill out an interest form, and then our membership chair will contact you!

NO DEBATE ABOUT THIS!

I don’t know about you, but I’m TIRED of hearing about debates. I’m starting to feel that what began as a good idea has morphed into a huge uncontrollable thing that occupies all our attention for weeks on end. Kind of like when you start out with a nice little baby, and then it grows into . . . a teenager.

Now there are a lot of things we can debate, in politics and in life (dogs v. cats, vanilla v. chocolate, the Angels v. the Dodgers, leaving the seat up v. leaving the seat down, and on and on). But one thing that there’s NO DEBATE on: the ALI thrift store is the place to shop!

Whether it’s clothes, shoes, housewares, gifts, toys, or timeless treasures, you’ll always find great quality, great prices, and no sales tax when you shop with us. And the money we make at the shop goes to support our programs here in Irvine, so you’re helping people in your community, too.

The ONLY debate you’ll have when you visit Assistance League of Irvine will be: how much stuff should I buy?  SHOP NOW

One-of-a-kind treasures found in ALI Thrift Shop

By Marta Mahoney

Recently I went to the 50th anniversary of the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach. Everybody loves the Sawdust Festival, where you can find hand-crafted items ranging from artwork to pottery and jewelry.  Craft trends change over time (remember macrame plant hangers?), but if you’re looking for a unique NEW gift for someone (v. a previously-owned gift, which you will of course buy at the thrift shop), this is the place.

We have some unique, one-of-a-kind items at the thrift shop, too! Check out our greeting cards and gift tags. Some of our artistic members love to make beautiful cards and gift tags for all occasions, which they donate to be sold at the thrift shop. These cards and tags are works of art in themselves, and usually priced at only $2 – $3. They’d be perfect if you’re giving a gift you bought at the Sawdust Festival. Or a gift you bought at the thrift shop. Or a gift you bought anywhere else. (And it’s always good to be prepared – pick out a selection to have on hand for the future!) See you in the store!

SAVE THE DATE! OUR HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA IS COMING!

Get out a big, bright marker and circle this date on your calendar – or pull out your Smartphone and program the REMINDER app with the loudest ringtone you can find:

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10! TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10! TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10!

That’s the date for our annual HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA at the ALI thrift shop, with special shopping hours from 10 AM TO 5:30 PM. 

All the HOLIDAY MERCHANDISE that we’ve been collecting all year will be out in the shop FOR THE FIRST TIME! You won’t believe the beautiful holiday decorations and gifts that will be for sale.  We have so much that our regular thrift shop space won’t hold it all – we have to use our upstairs too!

If you haven’t been to this event before, you’ll be overwhelmed by the quality and variety of our ornaments, home decor, holiday-themed gifts, cards, lights, and wrapping paper.  It’s the perfect opportunity to pick up stocking stuffers, small office gifts, or something new for your holiday tabletop.

PLAN TO COME EARLY for the best selection, because once it’s sold – it’s gone! See you on November 10th!

Get your FALL fix at the ALI thrift shop!

Fall

Ah, the beauty of fall – red and gold leaves on the trees, the scent of wood smoke in the air, wrapping yourself in a sweater on chilly afternoons, bundling up in a blanket at football games – uh, no. Not in southern California (except maybe for the smoke in the air, and that’s another story).   But for all of you who gaze yearningly at pictures of fall color in the Maine woods – help is on the way! You can get your “FALL FIX” starting on SUPER TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, at the ALI thrift shop!

SUPER TUESDAY is an EXTRA SHOPPING DAY to welcome the fall season. The store will be COMPLETELY RESTOCKED with fall fashions, accessories, and decor to showcase our fantastic selection of fall merchandise. The thrift shop will be open from 10 am to 3 pm, so come early for the best selection.

You’ll find an abundance of exciting, cooler-weather adults’ and children’s clothing in muted colors and contemporary fabrics. Pull your fall outfits together from a huge collection of fashion-forward accessories such as scarves, hats, purses, shoes and jewelry. Bring fall into your home with seasonally-themed decor and tableware, including several sets of beautiful dishes that would be perfect for entertaining!

Once you’ve been to the thrift shop on SUPER TUESDAY, you’ll be ready to sit by the fire with some hot apple cider while the wind howls outside – well, that part might have to wait a couple of months. But you’ll be ready when the time comes!

Mothers Day, Graduation and more!

imageIf you haven’t been to the Thrift Shop lately, come in and see our revamped checkout area. This new setup gives us more working room at the cash registers, so we can ring up your purchases more quickly.

And that’s a GOOD thing because . . . May is super-sale month! We’ll have INCREDIBLE sales all month, because we’re counting down to May 30, when we take inventory. You’ll get amazing deals all month long, so “shop early and often.”

This is a GREAT time to look for Mother’s Day and graduation gifts, and, for those who really plan ahead, Father’s Day presents. With summer approaching, you’ll be going to a lot of parties and barbecues, so you can also pick up some inexpensive hostess gifts to keep on hand. Beach books, small toys for the kids to take on vacation – it’s all here.

Stop in soon to take advantage of our May sales! (And think of us when you’re doing your spring cleaning – we accept donations any time during the hours our Thrift Shop is open.)

 

February 14th is around the corner. Shop with us!

valentines-day-2014-messages-for-friend

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the greeting card aisle, the calendar strikes again. It’s Valentine’s Day! Well, not quite, but it’s on the way.

Now we know all of you headed over to the cell phone store at the end of December so you could trade in your phone before the free upgrade expired. We also know that 97% of you have yet to download the instruction manual for your new phone, and thus have NO IDEA how to program a reminder to buy a Valentine gift for your significant other into your phone.

You have two options before February 14:

– Download the manual, which will appear in teeny tiny print on your cell phone screen. Since you can only read one paragraph at a time when you enlarge the text enough to be visible, it’ll take you 5,294 hours to go through it.

– Go to the Assistance League of Irvine’s Thrift Shop RIGHT NOW and pick out all your Valentine gifts from our selection of incredible bargains. We have jewelry, crystal, china, silver, and picture frames. For the kids, we have a whole menagerie of Valentine-themed stuffed animals. We have the ever-popular DVDs, CDs, and books. And if a special Valentine’s Day dinner or party is in your future, we’ve got the clothes.

See how easy a holiday can be? Now pull out that new phone and start making Valentine’s Day plans!